Naeem Bacchus

Working with West Park's Spasticity Management Clinic, Naeem Bacchus is on a journey to regain his mobility.

Naeem Bacchus

World Cerebral Palsy Day is October 6 and is an opportunity to recognize and support those living with CP. Cerebral Palsy affects more than 17 million people worldwide, and West Park’s Spasticity Management Clinic strives to help those with CP to manage some of the symptoms. One West Park Patient – Naeem Bacchus – shares his story with us.

Confidence has many sources, but for Naeem Bacchus his confidence stems from the ability to manage some of the effects Cerebral Palsy (CP) has on his body. 

Born with CP, the 35-year-old Newmarket resident got around with the use of a walker until 2013, when severe arthritis forced him to use a power wheelchair. Bacchus was determined to regain his mobility, and began treatment with West Park’s Spasticity Management Clinic in 2014, where he was assessed and started botulinum toxin injections every three months.

Bacchus receives botulinum toxin injections in his left leg, helping to reduce the spasticity that causes his leg to spring up, which hinders him from weight-bearing and mobility. The injections make standing and other movements easier. And combined with a surgery in 2016 to reduce pain from his arthritis, the spasticity treatment he receives is helping to regain mobility.

 “Dr. (Farooq) Ismail and the team work with me and help with standing and general movements,” Bacchus says. “It helps me be more confident about daily activities. It’s decreased my spasticity and fear of falling because I have better balance control when I’m standing. I have been able to take small steps using my walker and I am working towards being able to ambulate around my home. I definitely have more confidence.”

So much confidence that Bacchus has taken part in community events including recreation programs and emceeing events. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has curbed those activities for the moment, he looks forward to the opportunity to resume them. 

“It’s not the best feeling dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, but I do try to keep positive, keep my spirits up and keep moving.”

Through his care at West Park, Bacchus is achieving success – something Dr. Ismail says is a fundamental goal of the clinic.

“For our CP patients – for all our patients – we strive to help them manage their spasticity and engage in activities of daily life as much as possible,” Dr. Ismail says.

For Bacchus, it’s not just about managing his spasticity.

“Sometimes people have the notion someone with a disability can’t participate. But really, nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it,” Bacchus says.
And Bacchus thinks World CP Day is a great opportunity to help change that perception.

“If more awareness happens, the mindset about disabilities will change.”